You may have noticed lately that more and more ready-made, fit food services and grocery delivery companies are cropping up. For many time-poor women, these offerings are sweet relief from the all too familiar 9pm flurry after a long day, to whack something together worth eating. Tom Rutledge is the Australian founder of HelloFresh, the grocery delivery service that offers fresh food and easy recipes to go with it. His successful company isn’t his only claim to fame either, having made it to the top 24 of the 2011 MasterChef series.

We chatted to him about good food, healthy hacks and why relaxing with a piece of cake every now and then is the key to maintaining sanity.

What inspired HelloFresh?

I was brought up on a farm and have always loved everything about food – from growing it to preparing it to eating it. I found I was struggling to find the time to prepare healthy, delicious meals each night and wanted to make cooking at home convenient again. We took inspiration from a Swedish food delivery service and worked to provide Australians a similar solution.

Simplifying healthy eating is a godsend for many time-pressed fit women, for somebody who has never tried your service, what do you think is the major selling point?

Our main aim is to make healthy eating accessible and convenient no matter how busy your lifestyle. With HelloFresh you don’t need think about making time to get to the shops, what you want to eat, what you need to buy or worry about its nutritional value. We deliver everything you need for your weeknight meals, from the freshest ingredients, to easily to follow recipe cards, straight to your door.

What do you think sets your brand apart from other food delivery services

The quality of our ingredients and the diversity of our recipes. We have a wonderful supplier network who provide us the finest and freshest seasonal produce and an incredibly talented recipe development team who works to create delicious and varied menus. We review customer feedback each week and test all our recipes in-house to make sure they are of the highest quality.

Does HelloFresh opt for home grown ingredients?

We work with suppliers all around the country to ensure that we are providing customers with the highest-quality ingredients. We speak to them and take their guidance on which produce will be best each week depending on what’s available and seasonal and incorporate their feedback into the recipe development.

If you only had 15 minutes to whip up an evening meal, what would be your go-to recipe?

Black pepper veal scallops with blistered cherry tomatoes and lemon chilli broccoli.

Stand the minute steaks in the juice of ½ lemon and as much black pepper as you dare. Halve the cherry toms and cook over low heat in a small saucepan with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, crushed garlic, salt and pepper until that are starting to release their liquid but still holding their shape. Remove from heat and stir through a little basil. Chop the broccoli head into florets and boil until al dente. Drain and toss with olive oil, chilli flakes, lemon zest, and the other ½ of the lemon’s juice. Meanwhile, pan sear the veal over high heat for 1 minute per side. Remove from heat. Bang everything on a plate and tuck in!

What are your top four favourite healthy foods?

  1. Eggs – perfectly packaged and full of protein. A cracking way to start the day
  2. Brazil Nuts – there is no better snack, but pace yourself. They’re chock full of energy so you can over do it.
  3. Broccoli – I used to love toast because it is a vehicle for flavour and then I found this guy. Wonderful in its own right, and a sponge for whatever delicious flavour you pair it with.
  4. Blueberries – allegedly very good for you but hard to believe because they’re so delicious!

Your best tips for budding, healthy cooks?

  1. Nature is full of flavour. Steer clear of processed sauces and marinades. Use lemons, garlic, ginger, fresh herbs, dried spices, and salt in instead.
  2. Make creative substitutions that are also clever – cauliflower can be a substitute for rice, and quinoa for cous cous. HelloFresh is a great substitute for calorie-rich, ‘easy’ meals from the supermarket and is a lot more convenient.
  3. Treat yourself – eating healthily doesn’t mean deprivation. A balanced diet of wholesome ingredients still has room for a piece of chocolate cake here and there. Understand this and it will be much easier to sustain (and a little reward here and there is important).